Gender-related violence in young people's lives: UK practitioners’ concerns and planned interventions

Cooper-Levitan, M.N. and Alldred, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-5077-7286, 2022. Gender-related violence in young people's lives: UK practitioners’ concerns and planned interventions. Social Sciences, 11 (11), p. 535.

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Youth workers are on the front line for supporting children and young people with the violence some of them face. However, education and training for this part of the role seemed lacking in our experience as a Youth and Community Worker and a Youth and Community Work Lecturer in the UK. An international project that sought to address this educational gap for ‘youth practitioners’ had a UK arm, which is the context for this article. This project created a three-day training course that sought to improve responses to gender-related violence (GRV) by increasing awareness, improving knowledge about providing support and making referrals, and also sought to prevent or reduce gender-related violence by challenging the inequalities on which it rests. The UK ‘youth practitioners’ who attended the training wrote almost 500 ‘action plans’—plans to act on the basis of the training, and analysis of these offers an indication of their concerns and priorities. Here, we present the concerns that UK-based teachers and youth workers had for the children and young people they worked with, and the forms of violence they were aware of when they began this training course. We then describe the interventions with young people or changes to their practice that these attendees said they would make in response to the training once they were back at work. This provides an agenda for action in youth, education and social services to address gender-related violence in the lives of children and young people in the UK. By the end of the training, the interventions they had committed to making included changes to their own practice, showing their reflexivity and their understanding that key tools for tackling gender-related violence included their own behaviour and reflexive practice in their service or team. They highlighted the need for culture change at an organisational level, and identified the problems of sexism and homophobia, even in their own workplaces. Their views about the value of the term gender-related violence (GRV) were mixed, with some practitioners finding it unnecessarily theoretical and others finding it a helpful link between areas of discrimination and of violence that they tended to tackle separately, such as between homophobia and violence against women and girls.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Social Sciences
Creators: Cooper-Levitan, M.N. and Alldred, P.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 21 November 2022
Volume: 11
Number: 11
Rights: Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 29 Nov 2022 11:28
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 11:28

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